Afghan player suffers heart attack, but lives to tell the tale

Lifesaving CPR administered on the player as doctors diagnosed a mild heart-attack...

In what is seen as a medical miracle, Afghan defender Farzad Ataee was resuscitated on the pitch after suffering a mild heart attack during the first of the two semi-finals at the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship in Kathmandu, Nepal.

A recount of the events that led to the player needing Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) suggest that the collision between him and Nepal's Anil Gurung, resulted in him flaying down in the Afghan goalmouth, was the root cause of the heart-attack.


As Ataee lay unconscious, the players’ anxiety took over from their curiosity and panic set in as they frantically signalled to the bench for the physio.

What seemed as a minor injury was then diagnosed as a major one, and after CPR was administered, an ambulance was allowed onto the pitch and the player was rushed to hospital.

Though initially unclear as to what happened, organizers of the tournament later confirmed that it was a heart-attack, although a mild one, as told to them by the doctors of the hospital the player was admitted to.

The player is currently recuperating at the Blue Cross Nursing home in Kathmandu.

SAFF’s general coordinator, Narendra Shreshta, confirmed that Ataee suffered a head injury in the collision that lead to him lying in a prolonged state of unconsciousness. “He is in a stable condition but he will be kept under observation for at least 24 hours,” elucidated Shreshta.

The semi-final did carry on and a resilient Afghanistan beat the Gorkhalis in a thrilling encounter by a solitary goal. 

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